HI m 76 \ COMPULSORY PILOTAGE. A R G U M E N T I IN BEHALF OF THE NEW ENGLAND SHIP-OWNERS' ASSOCIATION AND OTHERS, FOR THE ABOLITION OF COMPULSOBY PILOTAGE ON SAILING VESSELS, BY J. B. RICHARDSON, BEFORE THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON MERCANTILE AFFAIRS OF THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS, FEBRUARY 2.5, 1882, WITH o . Petition of Ship-owners, and other statements relating to the subject. BOSTON: 1 882. ARGUMENT. Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee: — The New England Ship-owners' Association, and other parties interested in shipping, who have appeared before you, either personally or by petition, and asked you to recommend to the General Court a repeal of those provisions of the pilot- age regulations which make the payment of pilotage fees on sailing vessels in the ports of this State compulsory, represent the shipping interests of Massachusetts. And these parties have asked this, in the belief that compulsory pilotage is now unnecessary, a useless burden, a fruitful source of litigation, and an injury to the commerce of the State. The men who comprise this Association, and these parties, are the active business men of the present time, — men whose interests and fortunes are those of the public ; men to whom the Commonwealth and her seaport cities and towns are in- debted for what remains of your interest in foreign commerce ; men who are still struggling with adverse circumstances and hostile legislation to keep the flag of your country upon the ocean. They are men of business experience and prudence ; and they will sustain the loss, if any occurs in consequence of the granting of the request which they here make. By whom are they opposed? A few privileged incumbents of an office whose only interest in the subject is the amount of their fees, — not one of whom owns or represents a dollar in shipping. With one exception, no person who has any inter- est in foreign shipping or commerce has appeared to sec- ond or aid the pilots in their opposition, and this exception 2 is a retired shipmaster, who has not sailed a ship for thirty years. From these privileged possessors of an office you hear the same objections that you always have heard, and always will hear, from the occupants of any office or place which it becomes your duty to abolish. Like the old German barons who erected castles on the banks and islands of the Rhine, and forcibly exacted tolls from all voyagers, up or down, they pray not to be molested. Like the Hellgate pilots of East River, who carried on a legalized piracy on the commerce at the port of New York for forty years, they want to be let alone. We have grown old and gray in our office, say they; what shall we do without it? I am not unaware of what might be justly said against com- pulsory pilotage, as belonging to that obnoxious kind of law which is called "class legislation;" or to what might be said against it as being contrary to that natural sense of right which every man has against being obliged to pay another for some- thing which he does not have, or use, or want; or even against the gross injustice of making a few persons pay the entire expense of maintaining an institution whose existence is claimed to be for the benefit of the whole public. I must "be content here with the more limited practical duty of endeavoring to show that the reasons which called compul- sory pilotage into existence, and which have been in times past presented for its continuance, no longer exist; that it is not only not now needed, but is a useless and grievous burden upon the shipping interest of the State. REASONS ORIGINALLY GIVEN FOR COMPULSORY PILOTAGE. Now, if you will examine into the reasons originally assigned for the compulsory feature of the pilotage laws, you will find that the chief and real one was the alleged increase of safety to the lives of passengers on board such vessels thereby. 3 As to property merely, in ships, or in such merchandise as is carried on sailing vessels, or as to the protection of it, no government has ever undertaken to dictate to its owners what measures they must take to save or insure it against loss. It may be prudent or best for owners of such property to insure it against fire, or the perils of the sea, but no government has ever attempted to compel such owners to do so. No, you will, by looking into the history of compulsory pilotage, find that its creation or adoption was put upon the ground of alleged necessity for the protection to the lives of passengers on board such vessels, in which lives the owners of the vessels had no interest, and which they could not insure. This is virtually admitted in recent acts of the British Parlia- ment, which have exempted certain vessels from such compul- sory pilotage, when such vessels do not carry passengers. The acts of Congress on the transportation of passengers on steam- vessels are to the same point. The strict requirements in the acts of Congress, as to the number and qualifications of the officers and crews of vessels, life-boats, life-preservers, etc., are expressly limited to vessels carrying passengers. (See U. S. Revised Statutes, sections 4463-4498, 4492.) Admitting the sufficiency of this reason for compulsory pilotage at some period in the past, what application does it have to sailing-vessels now? Who does not see that that reason no longer exists ? No one goes abroad in a sailing-vessel now. Is it not a fact, that not as many persons leave this port to go abroad in sailing-vessels, in a year, as go down the harbor, far beyond the Commissioners' line, in sailing-boats, on any summer afternoon? Besides, it is neither reasonable nor consistent now to say that compulsory pilotage is necessary to protect life or property either on sailing- ships, when we have already abolished it on a large class of ships on which life and property are exposed to as much danger as it is upon those vessels which remain subject to it. If all 4 there is now at issue is a question of prudence in the care of property, why may you not leave that to the judgment of the owners here, as you do in all other circumstances or cases? THE EFFICENCY OF THIS FEATURE OF THE LAWS OVERRATED. We doubt whether the protection, which has been alleged to be in compulsory pilotage, has, at any time within the last thirty years, really existed. Managers of insurance corpora- tions are generally quick to apprehend danger, and to protect their interest against it. Life companies prohibit the insured from going almost anywhere ; but have you ever seen a policy prohibiting the holder from sailing in or out of port anywhere by reason of the absence in such port of compulsory pilotage? It has not been shown that underwriters on ships ever made any difference as to the risk or the amount of premium to be paid according as the vessel was or was not bound to or from a port where pilotage was compulsory. Let us not alarm ourselves for the safety of these insurance gentlemen. You may be sure that, at the first scent of real danger, they will, as they can easily, protect themselves by a clause in the policy. MODERN AIDS TO SAFE NAVIGATION. Note the changes which have taken place within the present century in respect to our coast, harbors, and methods of navi- gation. When the present system was adopted our coasts and harbors were slightly known. There was hardly a light-house, or any beacon, except an uncertain bonfire on some prominent height ; no signal stations, no telegraph, no whistles, few buoys, if any, to mark any channel ; no bells or fog signals ; and the ships which sailed out went irregularly on long voyages. The approaches to land generally were in the condition which nature left them. Since then immense sums have been ex- 5 pended in straightening and improving them ; shallow places have been deepened, rocks removed, new channels cut, and marked ; every acre of the sea-coast has, with the greatest care, by the general government, been surveyed, and mapped out ; the depth of the water in every rod of the adjacent sea has been measured and shown on maps and charts now in the hands of every master mariner. Lights and signals of distinctive features stand on every point, headland, or island, and to the navigator the coast is now as safe by night as by day. The vessels which now ply the waters of our harbors do so with a regularity and frequency then unknown. Navigation, instead of being knowledge acquired by the slow process of personal ex- perience, is now a science of which more can be acquired in a year than in a lifetime a century ago. Steam tug-boats, then unknown, have also become a most important auxiliary to naviga- tion. They do, and are qualified to do, all that pilots ever did or could do, and much more. .In Boston Harbor there are many steam-tugs which are capable of going anywhere, and towing vessels of any size, from Boston to New York, Balti- more, Portland, or elsewhere, in any weather or season. Their masters are competent pilots, and required to pass rigid examina- tion by inspectors of the general government, and to be licensed. The evidence before you all shows that when any aid is required by a master to get his vessel in or out of port, it is the aid which can be given by a tug, and not by a pilot. We admit the antiquity of compulsory pilotage, about which so much has been said. Its origin was before light-houses, or surveys, or charts ; before storm-signals or the telegraph ; before improvements of the channels ; before the days of steamboats ; before the time of Bowditch and " The Practical Navigator." And it was the absence of all our present aids to navigation that made these now obnoxious regulations necessary or tolerable. (J In the infancy of communities and States, before civil laws are established, there are times when rough measures are re- sorted to for protection and safety, but which are odious and oppressive, and afterwards intolerable. Compulsory pilotage has outlived the occasions for its creation, and the period of its usefulness has passed. THE BURDENS OF IT. An attempt is made to belittle the burden of it on the ship- masters, by showing what a small per cent, it is of the value of the cargoes which enter the port. But the figures enable us to see exactly what the burden is. The fees upon a vessel of 15 feet draft of water, bound in to this port, are $52.50. The fees upon the same vessel bound out of port are $31.50; making the whole amount for the trip, in and out, $84.00, exclusive of distance-money, which may be $10.50 more. The tax upon such a vessel, making ten trips per year, which vessels running to the British provinces may make, is $840. Mr. Delong stated to you that these fees for a trip often amount to one-half of the net earnings of the vessel ! Mr. Adams stated that during the present week he was obliged to pay $63 inward pilotage fees on a barque owned by him bound from Hayti to Boston ; that the whole freight of the barque was only $850, and that he was obliged to pay this, notwithstanding the barque was brought in by a steam-tug, for which tug-service he paid only $50; that the pilot was of no use. The fees upon a vessel of the same size, making five trips a year to the West Indies or South America, are $320. In a report by the late Nathaniel C. Nash, of Boston, who was authority on this subject, made as a member of the Com- mittee on Mercantile Affairs, to the House of Representatives in 1869, he said : — It was shown conclusively by the evidence before your committee that the fees for half pilotage, paid by small provincial vessels, averaged thirteen 7 dollars a trip, and in four to six years sufficient to absorb the whole vessel, and often the net earnings of the vessels, and were often a percentage of five to ten per cent, on the cheap cargoes carried. It appeared, also, that most of these vessels carried cargoes of little value, such as wood, lumber, stone, coal, bark, and fish ; and that, in case of accident, more than half the property was usually recovered, and that few of them entered Boston during the winter. The senior pilot of the port, Matthew Hunt, called by the pilots, testified that the masters in this trade, after serving a year as mariners and a year as mates, were generally competent to bring ^n or take out their vessels. It was also in proof, that most of the money drawn from vessels engaged in commerce with the Provinces was collected for services tendered and declined. In a communication made by the Solicitor of the "Vessel- Owners and Masters' Association," of Philadelphia, to the chairman of the Special Committee of Congress, " On the causes of the reduction of American tonnage," in 1870, appears this statement^ — A vessel is thus compelled, in the course of a year, to pay a sum equal at least to one-eighth of her net earnings for that year to pilot and pilot associations ; and this, too, where services are neither actually rendered nor needed. In a statement made by the committee of the Maritime Association of New York, in November, 1879, on this subject, it was stated, that Notwithstanding the immense foreign trade of the port — New York — low rate of interest, reduction of wages, and cost of supplies, competition, and other causes have rendered the carrying trade unremunerative ; Ameri- can vessels, under the best management and most favorable circumstances, barely paying any interest, and foreign vessels doing no better. The net earnings of the pilots, in the meantime, have been steadily increasing, until they now average more than the wages of the highest commodores of the largest mercantile steamships of modern times. Mr. John S. Emery, in an able presentation of the question to you, showed, from his long experience and practical knowl- 8 edge, how heavily this tax and burden bears upon the ship- owners of New England, whose vessels naturally enter the port of Boston. He also, by comparison with the rates of other ports, showed that the rates for this port are higher relatively — in proportion to the distance run and labor and time occupied in pilotage service — than in any other port of this country. THE COMPULSORY FEATURE IS NOT NECESSARY TO KEEP UP THE PILOTAGE SERVICE. But it is said — and this is the one staple argument; a mere assumption — that the maintenance of the compulsory feature is the only condition on which the pilotage system can be kept up. We deny this ; and we have not to go out of our own ex- perience to show that it is not so. Compulsory pilotage was, in 1 87 1 and in 1873, removed from about one-half the number of vessels sailing from this port, and the gilotage system has not suffered ; nor has the pilotage service in the harbor been im- paired. No one claims it. Do the pilots admit that such service is deteriorating? On the contrary, we see that the amount of fees which the pilots have received has increased from $79,79-2 in 1873, to $1 17,428 in 1881, and this last year, too, remember, they received no compulsory fees from outward-bound sailing vessels ; and the number of pilot boats is constantly increasing. Five only are required by law to be kept, but business is good enough to employ seven. There is no want of good pilots in the ports of Maine, or in any ports where pilotage is not com- pulsory. In a report of the Committee on Commerce of the 44th Congress, in April, 1876, on this subject, submitted by Mr. Pierce, of this State, it is stated, that The experience on the coast of Maine, the most dangerous on the At- lantic seaboard, has also demonstrated the fact, that, even in the less fre- quented ports, it is not necessary to tax vessels which do not require pilots, in order to maintain an organization for those which do require them. 9 And in a Report of Shipping, by a Committee of the British Parliament, in i860, is the following statement : — It appears that in the pilotage district of Newcastle, where the voluntary system prevails, and where navigation is difficult, and. at times, dangerous, no inconvenience results from the absence of any legal compulsion to em- ploy a pilot ; neither is the demand for, nor the supply of, duly licensed pilots in any way diminished by the practice which prevails ; on the contrary, the supply is much greater that it is at any other place where pilotage is compulsory. THE SUPPLY WILL FOLLOW THE DEMAND. Has it been shown that there is a port anywhere in which pilots are needed and they cannot be obtained, irrespective of compulsory pilotage regulations? Is pilotage the solitary busi- ness, and is Boston the solitary place where the supply of any service will not come with the demand for it? Do the advo- cates of compulsory pilotage want more than a supply for the demand? Do they want to tax me, not only for what some one else may want, but also for what neither he nor anybody wants? No. Free competition would improve this service, as it does every other. Do you expect improvement in a legalized mo- nopoly? What stimulus is there to improve their service, when the pilots have guaranteed to them all there is? What induce- ment have they to go far out to sea in bad weather to seek for vessels in peril, or in want of pilots, when they can lie along the Commissioners' line, in safety and comfort, and be sure of catching them all? And, as might be expected, they do not do it. Every master mariner who has been before us has said that it is in bad weather, when pilots are needed, that they are not found; that, like Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., of Her Majesty's ship Pinafore, When the breezes blow, They generally go below. It is said that the law gives the fee for an offer to the first pilot only who tenders his services to an inward-bound vessel ; 10 but suppose the pilots pool their catch, as the fishermen do, and as the pilots to some extent certainly do, what becomes of the incentive or stimulus to go out to sea in bad weather then? The law secures to them all there is to be had. Mr. Delong, who probably handles as many vessels coming from the Provinces to this port as any broker or merchant here, stated that it was the constant statement of the masters of those vessels that pilots were plenty in fair weather ; scarce in bad. We say that the law itself is calculated to create, as it has, a corps of "fair-weather pilots." The testimony on this point from many masters and owners, from Mr. Lunt, and even from some of the pilots also, shows that this is not an exaggeration. And the real cause of this state of things is not so much the fault of the pilots as it is of the law. THE LAWS OF OTHER COUNTRIES ARE NOT AUTHORITY FOR US. It is urged as a reason for retaining this law that the pros- perous commercial empire of Great Britain retains it. But is it shown that the prosperity of England, or the extent of her commerce, or any part of it, is attributable to compulsory pilotage? The commercial prosperity of England no more proves the advantage of such pilotage than it does the advan- tage of the law of primogeniture, or the peculiarities of her laws of marriage. Many things are often taken for cause and effect which are only coincidents. Compulsory pilotage prevails to a much less extent in English ports than is claimed. And it is certain that many classes of ships in English ports are now free, which, twenty years ago, were subject to such pilotage. But we do not follow English example in this matter. English ship-owners have a protection which we do not have, that relieves compulsory pilotage there of its most unjust feature. 11 England and her colonies — Canada and Australia — exempt the owners of vessels from liability, loss, or damage occasioned by the vessel while such licensed pilot is on board and in com- mand, — and most justly. Why should the master or owner of a vessel be held liable for a damage occasioned by the neglect, misconduct, or fault of a person, pilot or otherwise, whom they, such master or owner, had no power to select, and whom they could not refuse to take? Clearly they should not, and there they are not. 6 Geo. IV., ch. 125, sec. 56. Abbott on Shipping, 12th ed., p. 159. The Protector, 1 Wm. Rob., 45. Yet the courts of the United States hold that vessels are not exempt from liability for damage or loss occasioned by collision or other cause, although occasioned by the sole fault of such a pilot which the law obliges them to take, and while on board and in actual command of the vessel. See Steamship China, 7 Wallace, 53. This is now the law of the land, so that now the law obliges the master and owner, in ports where pilotage is compulsory, to surrender the management of their ship into the hands of a stranger, over whom they have no control, and yet the vessel and her owners remain liable for any damages resulting by collision or otherwise, though occasioned solely by the neglect, incompetency, or misconduct of such pilot. American ship-owners justly protest against being placed in such a position as this. If you should change it so as to give them the relief from the liability .which ship-owners under the law of England have, then they would also justly ask you to provide that the pilots themselves be made practically answer- able and responsible for their faults, negligence, and mis- conduct, by which loss or damage is occasioned to ship-owners. 12 This difference between the English law and ours not only destroys any authority which the policy of England might otherwise be to us in this matter, but this liability (of vessels and their owners for damages occasioned by such pilot) is alone, I think, a sufficient reason for abolishing compulsory pilotage. Shall we put off the repeal of an unjust law because other States or nations do? It is possible that each and all of them have some reason for retaining it which we do not have. One reason is said to exist in some harbors of the Southern States which does not exist here, — the changing position of sand-bars, which cannot always be accurately shown on the chart. Is it worth while to keep up this system in any spirit of re- taliation, because other nations do so? Shall we embarrass or burden the trade, for instance, with the British Provinces, which brings to us the products of those places, which we need, and with which they buy, to take back there, the manufactures and products of our country, which we desire to sell, merely be- cause those Provinces impose certain dues or taxes on our ships going there? It must not be forgotten that our govern- ment exacts a tonnage tax of thirty cents per ton each year on all their ships which enter our ports, which tax is larger than all the light dues, etc., which the Provinces impose on our ships entering their ports. PILOTAGE OF OUTWARD-BOUND VESSELS. To the present time (Feb. I, 1882) we believe that pilotage on outward-bound vessels was never compulsory in this State, and that an examination of the statutes will show it. See Chap. i;6ofi8f2. It appears that the pilot commissioners, under Sect. 1 7 of Chap. 176 of the Act of 1862, applied to the Governor and Coun- cil in Sept., 1865, for a proclamation of the Governor to make pilotage upon outward-bound vessels compulsory. No notice / 13 of such application was given to ship-owners or other parties to be affected by it; no hearing was had; but such proclama- tion was made, and published, in 1865, in one Boston news paper, and never until now was published or printed in any other place. It never appeared with the statutes of the Common- wealth. We believe that it was not law ; that it had not the force of law; and that the Legislature of 1862 never intended by the power which they did give to the Governor and Council in said Section 17, Chap. 176, of 1862, to delegate to the Gov- ernor and Council the power to create a new tax and burden and obligation of that character ; that if they did, it was un- constitutional. No attempt was made to enforce it; the pilots did not dare to test it by carrying any case into court, and the Legislature, in 1869, by Chap. 236, repealed the whole of said Sect. 17; and it was thought that by that repeal of Sect. 17 the proclamation of the Governor, which rested upon it, then ceased to have any force, if any it ever had. It is true, however, the exact state of the case not being generally known to ship-masters, that the pilots succeeded in various ways in making masters pay pilotage fees on many outward-bound vessels. Ship-owners, about three years ago, became apprised of the facts, and payments of outward pilotage ceased. An action was brought into court to recover such pilotage, in the summer of 1 88 1, and is now pending. It appears, however, that the attention of the Committee on the Revision of the Statutes, which went into effect on the 1st inst., was called to the said proclamation of the Governor, and without hearing or discussion, as I can find out, was put into the body of the public statutes as Sect. 27 of Chap. 70. By this statute outward pilotage is now compulsory in this port, upon those vessels on which it is compulsory, when such vessels are bound into said port, — a long step backward surely. The pilots and pilot commissioners are, of course, desirous of keeping that law. It will increase their revenue. But it would be, it seems to us, an abuse of the privilege and power of this General Court, if they suffered it to remain over this session. We cannot think that you can hesitate to relieve parties in- terested in shipping in this State from a law so secretly and irregularly foisted upon them. Who can fail to see the different circumstances of leaving port from those of entering it? Chief Justice Shaw, fifty years ago, in a question before the Court (Heridia v. Ayres, 12 Pick., p. 343), on this subject, said : — Vessels outward bound have the selection of their time of sailing under favorable circumstances of wind and weather, with a full knowledge of their position, and when they have cleared the land can proceed to sea without danger. With inward-bound vessels all this is reversed; the danger consists in approaching the land, and they need the aid of a pilot when this danger commences. The theory on which the Commissioners' line is drawn is, that it is safe for vessels to go without pilots inside of it. If vessels bound in pass it without being spoken, they are deemed by the law past all dangers, and afterwards are not obliged to take a pilot for the rest of the way in. Yet Mr. Nash says truly, that the pilots on outward-bound vessels take them only to this same line, thereby piloting outward-bound vessels over that portion only of the harbor where the law deems and declares it to be so safe as to allow vessels going the other way to go without pilot ! To such absurdities does this law lead. This Commissioners' line was changed, or attempted to be changed, also by the Governor and Council in 1866; but the change was never published with the laws of the State, nor is it found in the Public Statutes., or in print anywhere else except in a newspaper of that year. 15 SYMPATHY. Much is and will be said and done out of sympathy for the " poor pilots"! It is said that they must live. If there is a necessity for a charity here, let the expense of it be borne, as. that of other State charities are, by general taxation, by the public at large. Is it not unkind, to say the least, to throw that burden in the future on to a few persons, because they have been good enough to bear it in the past? But the pilots need no charity. Pilotage on steamships last year amounted to $63,265, within $2,000 of as much as the pilotage on all vessels amounted to in 1867, when there were the same number of pilots. Many large sailing vessels will be piloted in as heretofore. The in- crease of foreign steamships has been such that the amount of the pilots' receipts from them for 1 88 1 was over $11,000 greater than it was in 1880; and over $7,000 greater in 1880 than it was in 1879; and over $9,500 larger in 1879 than in 1878; and over $15,000 larger in 1878 than it was in 1877. These figures are from the statement of the secretary of the pilot commissioners produced here. From the same statement it appears the total receipts for pilotage of steam vessels in 1872 was $7,725 ; in 1 88 1 it was $63,265, — over $55,000 increase in nine years. Counsel for the pilots finds comfort for his clients in the fact that the shipping of Bangor and Portland has not increased latterly, and that in those ports there is no compulsory pilotage. But how is it with Salem and Newburyport, which have the benefits of compulsory pilotage? Such comparisons or instances prove nothing. One might as well argue that it is necessary for a great poet to have a club-foot because Lord Byron had one ; or that it is necessary to a great commercial city to have bad sand-bars in its harbor, because there are such in the entrance to Liverpool. Boston has kept a little of her commerce, not because of compulsory pilotage, but in spite of 16 it. The Boston pilots are not objects of charity; they can take care of themselves. In 1 88 1 vessels in the port of Philadelphia were greatly relieved, and the fees remaining are much smaller in proportion to the labor required than are those at Boston. Compulsory pilotage on East River has been abolished on all coastwise vessels. The drift in this State is unmistakable. Every legisla- tive act on the subject for twenty years has been in the line of further exemptions ; fully one-half in number of vessels enter- ing Massachusetts ports were relieved from compulsory pilot- age by the acts of 1871 and 1873. Notwithstanding the objections then made to these acts, which were the same objec- tions which are now made here, no evil has resulted ; nobody has offered to show that property has been lost by it, or that the " service " has deteriorated, or that the pilots have suffered in consequence. They have the present week launched a new boat, of spacious dimensions, finished, according to the published accounts, " in mahogany, plush and velvet," with accommoda- tions for thirty pilots, and all modern improvements. There can be little doubt, though it has been difficult to get at, that several Boston pilots received net, over all expenses and board, over $4,000 each for the year 1881. " FEW DIE, AND NONE RESIGN." They have advanced one very curious reason for extending or keeping compulsory pilotage, viz., that it is an unhealthy business ; that many pilots at some time or other die of con- sumption. You would naturally suppose that men would avoid a destructive occupation ; but it appears that young men wait for it, and old men, at the age of sixty, with a comfortable com- petency, return to it when they can. The hardships, dangers, or deprivations bear no comparison with those of fishermen or whalers, or any other men who " go 17 down to the sea in ships," where compensation is not a fifth part of that of the former. You have had presented to you an account of the lives, fortunes and misfortunes, deaths and dates of the deaths, of Boston pilots since 1 8 1 3 ; the thirty-six places have from time to time been made vacant by one cause or another, but not a resignation among them all. From the facts in the case, I should say this was exactly the class of officials of whom Mr. Webster spoke, when he said, u Few die, and none resign." Gentlemen, the ship-owners and merchants who ask you to repeal these obnoxious and burdensome regulations are the only parties entitled to consideration here. They are the only parties who have an interest in this matter proper for you to consider; and with and among all these men, on whom and whose business depends the commercial prosperity of this city and Commonwealth, there is but one opinion and one sentiment on this subject — that expressed in their resolutions and petitions. You know how desirable it is, and what efforts have been made, to revive your interests in shipping, and restore to Boston her former position in the commerce of this and other countries. Let us open our harbors to our neighbors, and let Boston's position in the world's commerce, so far as this matter goes, be that of a " free " port, which signifies liberality in business, progress, and civilization. [COPY OF RESOLUTIONS.] Boston, Jan. 30, 1882. A meeting of the merchants of Boston was held this day in the rooms of the Board of Trade, in answer to a call from the "Pilotage Committee 11 of the " New England Ship-owners 1 Association." After a full and free discussion of the subject of Compulsory Pilotage the following resolutions were passed unanimously : — Resolved, That the Pilotage Committee of the New England Ship-Owners Association be and are hereby requested to appear before the Committee of 18 the Legislature on " Mercantile Affairs," and ask for the abolition of Compulsory Pilotage. Resolved, That should the Legislative committee seem opposed to the entire abolition of Compulsory Pilotage, then this Committee of the N. E. S. O. Association are given full powers to petition for such modifications of existing pilotage laws as may in their judgment seem to be needed for the relief of our shipping interest. To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in General Cozirt assembled: — The undersigned petitioners, citizens of Massachusetts, merchants of Boston, interested in shipping in the port of Boston, respectfully represent that, in our opinion, that feature of the Pilotage Regulations of this State which obliges sailing vessels bound into, or out of, the harbor of Boston to take pilots and pay them certain fees, regardless of whether the services of such pilots are needed or required, is now wholly unnecessary, a useless burden, a source of much litigation and annoyance, and an injury to shipping interests of this port. We believe that no inconvenience has resulted from the relief and exemp- tion which have from time to time been given to certain classes of vessels from this burden ; and we fail to see any reason why any prejudicial discrim- ination should be made or kept up against the port of Boston, or against those who, with many other disadvantages, are struggling to maintain our interests, and the interests of our city and State in trade and shipping with foreign countries. We learn, with surprise, it is now claimed to be the law that vessels outward bound from this port to foreign ports are, by a recent law, subject to this burden and liability. We earnestly petition your Honorable Body to repeal and abolish these features of the laws and regulation pertaining to pilotage in this port which create and impose upon shipping the useless burdens and liability to which we have alluded. W. F. HUMPHREY, Secretary. Boston, Jan. 30, 1SS2. [COPY OF PETITION.] (Signed) Burt, Alexander & Co. John S. Emery & Co. Stephen H. Whidden. And. J. Peters. Kilham, Loud & Co. John Walter & Co. Geo. D. Emery. M. F. Whiton & Co. Wm. Pope & Sons. Henry Hastings & Co. 19 C. Lovell & Son. Hinckley Bros. & Co. J. Baker & Co. E. H. Atwood. Joseph Nickerson & Co. Bakers & Humphrey. Doane & Crowell. Luther Fiske. Uriah B. Fiske. Atwood & Rich. J. W. Linnell. T. L. Mayo & Co. C. L. Bartlett & Co. C. & J. A. Baker. Gammans & Co. James Bliss & Co. Whiton Bros. & Co. N. Boynton & Co. WlTHERSPOON & TOWNSEND. Boston, February, 1S82. STATEMENT Of the amounts received by each of the Boston Pilots, as returned by them to the Cornmissioners, for the year 1881 . Tremere $2,788 50 Dolliver • $3,764 25 Thompson * . 2,249 25 Cooper . . 4,098 25 Smith * . . . . 2,845 60 Colby * . . . 2,222 25 Reed, M. . . . 3,383 25 Wilson . . . . 5,78i 50 Phillips 3,567 50 Wellock . . 5,964 25 Martin, S. C. . . 5,595 00 Abbott . . . • 5,751 25 Jeffrey .... 4,964 00 Lawler . 4,279 25 Martin, E. G. . . 4,100 00 Hooper . . 3,203 75 Lampee . . . 2,493 00 Harrington 2,766 00 Kenrick 5,154 25 Farfield * . . 2,359 72 McField, Wm. . 5,536 50 McField, J. A. 5,247 75 Fowler, F. . 5,415 25 Total . . . ■ $93,53o 32 The above made returns as having been on duty the whole year. David Elliott. Aug. B. Perry & Co. J. Ashton Preston. Welch, Humphrey & Co. Addison, Gage & Co. M. F. Pickering & Co. Colton & Haley. E. A. Adams. A. G. Sawyer. Lewis & Hall. G. N. Black. S. C. Blanchard. Kinsman & Co. Crocker Bros. & Co. J. P. Ellicott & Co. Geo. H. Peters & Co. J. H. Flitner & Co. Geo. E. Downes. Delong & Seaman. 20 Hayden . Bruce Cu minings . Nash . . Kelly . -. $2,355 75 2,648 75 1,968 00 i>77i 75 1,975 50 Tewksbury, H. A. Josselyn McField, E. S. . Fowler, W. C. $2,327 50 2,573 25 2,120 50 2,724 75 The above nine made returns as having been on duty nine months only. Tew ksbury, W. F. Leary * . . $1,353 00 1,026 25 Dolliver, A. H. * $869 75 The above three made returns for six months of the year. Hunt * . . . $541 50 I Reed, J $866 50 Made returns as having been on duty three months only. The total amount returned, as received by all the pilots, for the year 1881, was $118,653.37. The average amount received by each pilot, who held a full branch or warrant, and who made returns for the whole year, was $4,413.34. The above were all returned as from pilots connected with seven boats. Those marked * did not have a branch or warrant for all vessels.